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From Bri­tain, a so­cially as­tute and in­ci­sive com­edy-drama that can go from up­lift­ing to gut-wrench­ing in the blink of an eye. As he has al­ways done, mas­ter film­maker Ken Loach sim­ply sticks to carv­ing off a slice of life as au­then­ti­cally as he pos­si­bly can, and then lets the re­mark­ably re­al­is­tic re­sults speak for them­selves. The ti­tle char­ac­ter is a 59-year-old New­cas­tle car­pen­ter side­lined by a re­cent heart at­tack. Though his doc­tor has ad­vised him to wait a few months be­fore re­turn­ing to duty, an ab­surd loop­hole in the ben­e­fits sys­tem forces Daniel (played to per­fec­tion by stand-up comic Dave Johns) to spend his days hustling for jobs his se­vere con­di­tion will not al­low him to ac­cept.

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